MLA Results

The first work that I am going to look at is, “The Cuckoo’s History: Human Nature in Wuthering Heights” by Joseph Carroll explores what each character represents in the novel. There is a prime emphasis on the naturalistic qualities that characters have. In particular Carroll goes on about how there is a Darwinian identity that follows each generation, that there was a trait that allowed them to thrive in wuthering heights and that while it drives Heathcliff in some of his actions, there is also a desire for himself and others to rebel against the natural order. I am interested in possibly pursuing this, because I feel it ties into the identity of each character, and the identity that lies in the names that they carry.

The second work that I am looking at is titled “’Gypsies’ and Property in British Literature: Orlando and Wuthering Heights” by Abby Bardi. Unfortunately I am still waiting for this on Inter library loan, but it should be in early this week. I am hoping to enjoy a reading that critically looks at the features behind heathcliff that shaped his upbringing. His status as an orphan and as an usurper to the house is important, but none of these would have had the impact if it was not for his racial features. I also want to see discussion on how or if Heathcliff managed to overcome these barriers, because while he does get the property and the money, there is still the mystery of how he got his fortune, and what it would mean for status in England during that Era. I am interested in finding out more about these issues in English culture.

The third work is a part of the book “The Brontës in Context” by Marianne Thormählen, and specifically the chapters titled, “Physical Health, and “Mental Health”. I am also waiting on this book to show up for me in the library mail, but I am excited to learn about the writing context that makes up the characters of “Wuthering Heights”. The ideas on what it means to be healthy is a central theme in the novel and I want to explore how this author thinks how the characters health should be interpreted by the standards of the time. The ideas that mentality and your physical condition are linked is another factor of the novel that I want to look at, and that I hope this work gives me a critical view on.


Works Cited


Bardi, Abby. “‘Gypsies’ And Property In British Literature: Orlando And Wuthering Heights.” ‘Gypsies’ in European Literature and Culture. 105-122. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.


Caldwell, Janis McLarren. “Mental Health.” The Brontës in Context. 344-351. Cambridge, England: Cambridge UP, 2012. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.


Caldwell, Janis McLarren. “Physical Health.” The Brontës in Context. 335-343. Cambridge, England: Cambridge UP, 2012. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.


Carroll, Joseph. “The Cuckoo’s History: Human Nature In Wuthering Heights.” Evolution, Literature, and Film: A Reader. 367-380. New York, NY: Columbia UP, 2010. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.

What is in a Name?

First, let’s get this out of the way, Lockwood is an unreliable person to be narrating the story. This is not the first unreliable narrator I have seen in a Bronte, novel and I am beginning to think that this is a style that the family itself liked to work with. Beyond that he is unreliable, I think that it serves a purpose, to add more exploration to the story. What I mean by this is that the audience will interpret the characters from a variety of angles. Take for example Mr. Heathcliff, we get the impression from Lockwood that he is your typical nobleman sitting on a plot of land, while in reality he is more than just a little rough around the edges. This writing style does well to offset our expectations.

Speaking of expectations, do you all know Catherine? There seems to be a Catherine everywhere you turn in the history and present events of the Wuthering Heights Estate. This shows off a long lineage of ownership that goes into this place. However, the past of heathcliff seems to derail this long history. He shows up almost out of the blue, is adopted and then the trouble starts. Of course Heathcliff’s circumstances are not his own doing at first, but appears to be more of a natural twist of fate to upset the delicate balance of a noble house. Insert your stereotypical intrusion of new blood into an established family tropes here.

The interesting part about this particular intrusion to the estate is the fact that young Heathcliff is an orphan. The present Mr. Heathcliff is considered the lord, so there are no spoilers about what happens to him. But his figure as an imposing and perhaps abusive man are a far cry from what you would expect. Not having a name in the first place, allowed Heathcliff to eventually adopt a name with power for himself. This is an opportunity that someone with a lower class lineage would almost never have the chance to do. The problem with this power, is that Heathcliff had to struggle with himself and others to do it, from a bitter rivalry to being driven out of the house in despair, which only caused further despair to Catherine. Even his love life has been filled with the question whether he truly belongs, and it shows on his character.

When Heathcliff finds the answer out of his own spite and feelings of betrayal to claim revenge, it shows how twisted this struggle has made him. Flash forward to the present issues of a fully vengeful ghost apparently haunting Lockwood, and the audience get’s the picture that this is not a happy household. While Heathcliff holds the name of Wuthering Heights as his own, the events that surround the estate have left a negative impact that matches Heathcliff in more than just a title. The original name of the estate is tainted, and once again this plays with the expectations that Lockwood originally had. A name can hold two separate meanings, the one that you hold to yourself, and the one the reputation that a name has out in the world at large.

Emma, Revision and Rewriting.

My aim in writing this piece on Emma was to break out the contradictions in her character. I focused on the contradiction of marriage, her refusal to accept it as a possibility for her, and at the same time an obsessive game that Emma can not put down. I wanted to explore the dilemma that this put Emma in as a character. I saw her as the world builder that was afraid to become like his or her creation. I chose Harriet as the example of how Emma impresses her will to act as a creator onto others because Harriet is such an impressionable person. Harriet lacks a strong conviction, and also looks up to Emma. With these two traits in combination it is easy to use Harriet as a narrative device and as a literal canvas for Emma to try her schemes on.

    Keeping with the creator motif, if Emma were an artist than Knightley is the work of art that never went according to plan. I believe that he works as a romantic interest for Emma precisely because he can see through everything that she tries to do. Knightley also goes one step farther and calls Emma out on her faults. In my draft I wanted to explore this relationship that forces Emma to acknowledge and overcome her own faults. More than this I wish I went into more detail about how Emma and Knightley play off of each other to represent the two versions of social class. The difference in the two forms, with Emma judging others based on how she perceives the patterns of social maneuvering. Knightley views class based on the character of the person, and how they conduct their character to preserve honor. These representations deserved to be worked on further than what I wrote in my draft.

    The lack of fleshing out the ideas that I presented in my draft are its major weak point. I also feel that the draft was rushed to explain too many details at one time. It may have been better if I chose to focus more on one side of the interaction between Emma’s contradiction and society. I also should have restructured my draft to better explain the creator mentality that Emma has to form a stronger argument.

Weak points aside, I feel that the assessment of Emma as a character, and a comparison for what Austen believed was true gentility is a strong part of the Draft. The ideas themselves are a strong point, and I think that they do a lot to generate thought in the audience.

The portion of the draft that talks about how Emma and Knightley play off of each other is good, and one of my favorite parts. I like that because of her contradictory nature that Emma has such difficulty in realizing that Knightley wants to be with her. These types of character developments that are built up well in the novel provide the best topics for any discussion question and I tried to show this strength in my draft.